Victoria Theatre

8-10 Perkins Street,
Newcastle, NSW 2300

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Victoria Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This building was constructed in 1890 by the Victoria Theatre Company and used only for the stage performances. It began screening films from 15th July 1901, and during the silent era it was leased to Hoyts Theatres. They continued the stage facility but with the decline of the stage because of cinema use, new cinema facilities were added and the second balcony was removed in 1921. When the stage was needed the screen was ‘flown’. International stars appeared here, including the great tenor Richard Tauber, and the British D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, as well as touring sypmphony orchestras.

With the demise of the cinema Hoyts closed the Victoria Theatre on 30th March 1966 and the sloped stalls floor had another straight floor built above it and the place became Eastman’s clothes shop. The dress circle was untouched and in 1992 the original red velvet curtains were still hanging in the proscenium opening.

It continued in retail use until 1990, but is now boarded up. In November 2000, the Victoria Theatre was classified by the National Trust as a Historic Building.

Contributed by Gregory Lauder-Frost

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

lauderfrost
lauderfrost on April 13, 2006 at 8:53 am

My understanding is that the upper balcony only was removed, and some tinkering only with the huge dress circle/lounge. That does not constitute a rebuild of the whole building. It is the original 1890 structure. I went to check it out in January 1992 and it was all boarded up and sad.

lauderfrost
lauderfrost on April 13, 2006 at 9:02 am

I am inclined to say that the seating capacity as shown on the header must be wrong. The Victoria was a very large theatre, larger than the Regent Theatre at Islington, which had a capacity of 1600.

I also failed to say that if one looks up towards the top of the facade, the full date of construction is given – in stone.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 29, 2009 at 6:15 am

A photograph of the Victoria Theatre in 2008:
View link

goalieturtle
goalieturtle on September 10, 2017 at 9:54 am

The Victoria Theatre has been purchased by the same company that owns the Enmore and other theatres. It is to be redeveloped. http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3502346/new-buyer-plans-victoria-theatres-encore/ http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3862031/reviving-the-victoria-theatre/

turnbullp
turnbullp on November 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm

I worked at this wonderful theatre as an assistant Projectionist for 7 years (1957 – 1964) I had the pleasure of running countless movies as well as working the Bo Spotlight for the various stage shows, such as the Tommy Steel Show, Grab me a Gondola(September 1959)and Many Happy Returns, which featured such artists as Gladys Moncrieff,Queenie Paul,George Wallace,Jim Gerald & Jenny Howard as well as Pardon My French. The projection box was situated where you see the window at the top of the middle arch looking at the front of the building.

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